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Jun 26, 2015 1:37 EDT

Compassion & Comfort in Cancer Care: an internationally recognised not-for-profit training charity

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 26, 2015

Compassion & Comfort in Cancer Care

The story of the project

Oncology Massage Training (OMT) is an internationally recognised not-for-profit training charity. Our mission is to improve quality of life for people with a diagnosis or history of cancer by facilitating their access to safe, effective massage therapy, provided by oncology massage therapists who have had high quality, standardised training.

We are currently embarking upon a project to complete Australian-first, evidence-based research, and to do so, we desperately need assistance with funding. A Certificate IV/Diploma Program in oncology massage has been developed and government-approved, and will be brought to life with this vital research. This is essential in our aim to regulate training and increase the availability of oncology massage, particularly in major hospitals and cancer centres.

OMT is grounded in a philosophy of continual improvement. Our training and work is based on medical research from the USA, UK and Europe. This research shows that oncology massage improves quality of life by reducing the side effects from conventional treatment of cancer and the symptoms of the disease process itself. This includes, but is not limited to, improvements in pain, fatigue, anxiety, nausea and depression, some by over 50%.

“WOW. I have a full massage at a day spa every month and now I realise I have been having a cosmetic massage. This massage today was healing, I felt as though my cells were being moved around and I could feel positive energy from the therapist. She seemed to have four hands [and] at no time was my contact with her left disconnected. Absolutely amazing experience.”
– Mike (Volunteer), VIC, February 2013

“The massage was gentle yet effective and a wonderful experience. Since my cancer diagnosis I haven’t felt comfortable about my body and having a massage.”
– Janet (Volunteer), NSW, May 2012

“Massage was extremely helpful in loosening tight tissue. I now acknowledge I need much more work to loosen post surgery adhesions. The whole experience was extremely beneficial physically/mentally.”
– Anonymous (Volunteer), VIC, August 2014

How the funds will be used

All funds raised will be used for research purposes. At present, OMT’s only source of income is course fees (paid by massage therapists or their employers) and these fees cover course costs, administration and minimal advertising. This does not leave any funds for research to be undertaken, which is fundamental in our endeavour to integrate and immerse oncology massage into the medical model.

OMT will collaborate with the University of Western Sydney, faculty of the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM), on this research project. The minimum amount we need to go ahead with the research is $10K, but to cover all expenses we need $18 500. All of the funds will go towards completing the following:

1. A survey of the current level of massage provision in key organisational settings including hospices, hospitals, cancer support centres and voluntary sector projects. 2. Twenty interviews with people at all different stages of their cancer diagnosis about their experiences, preferences and barriers in accessing complementary therapies, especially massage.

This model is based on a scoping study completed by the IRIS Cancer Partnership in Scotland in 2014, which proved there was an overwhelming demand for this particular type of massage.

Some of my other work

It is OM Ltd’s people that make our organisation so special. From the Board of Directors through to our newest qualified therapist, we are passionate about the benefits of oncology massage and committed to contributing to the growth of our organisation and our service.

“What an amazing three days of my life – the training was encouraging, enlightening, professional and nurturing. The facilitators are a wonderful mirror of the spirit and meaning of Oncology Massage.”
– Susan (Student), SA, June 2013

As well as training therapists in oncology massage, we also have a function on our website (see below) where those with a cancer diagnosis can locate their nearest trained oncology massage therapist.

“I think this course is very valuable to massage therapists to help understand a very needy portion of the public who particularly need some spoiling. The massage I had today was exceptionally gentle, the therapist kind, caring, considerate and thoughtful.”
– Anonymous (Volunteer), NSW, March 2013

A significant and current focus within OMT is increasing the number of trained oncology massage therapists in rural and regional areas. It is important that those living in these areas have access to trained oncology massage therapists, as travelling for any type of treatment can be extremely challenging while facing a life limiting illness.

OMT is an ever-expanding field. Therapists can work in both the palliative and aged care fields, with survivorship issues such as scarring and post-radiation complications, and their skills extend to treating those suffering from other chronic illnesses, including neurological diseases such as dementia.

Please visit our website (see below) or contact us for further information about Oncology Massage Training. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated, and if there are other ways you think you might be able to help, we would love to hear from you.



In addition to a lack of funding, OMT faces a range of obstacles. In particular, there is a serious lack of understanding and awareness around oncology massage within the general population as well as the medical community. We are dedicated to changing this fact so that more people can benefit from this specialised service.

“This program exceeded my expectations and gave me value beyond Oncology Massage. The combination of science and heart drew everything together well. This was enhanced by having three amazing facilitators/presenters. I feel so proud and happy to know there are amazing people in the industry making such a profound difference in healthcare.”
– Nicole (Student), VIC, April 2014

Contact Information:

Danielle Rutten

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